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Cannon Falls' Katie Noble and Leah Meyers go up for a tandem block Tuesday against Goodhue. Noble registered six blocks in the 3-1 Bombers victory. (Republican Eagle photo by Kyle Stevens)

Volleyball: Cannon Falls snags HVL win over Goodhue

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GOODHUE – After a rough weekend at the Class 2A Showcase volleyball tournament, and with a date with Stewartville looming on the horizon, Cannon Falls needed to right the ship against Goodhue. The Wildcats, however, were hosting the Bombers, and Goodhue was the team on the fringe of the Class 1A Top 10.

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And after three sets, the match had lived up to its billing as both teams were able to trade runs and keep the emotions tense.

But the fourth set saw the Bombers jump to a 9-4 lead, then 16-10 and 22-14. The Wildcats would cut that to 23-19 before Cannon Falls would close the match with back-to-back points, clinching the four-set victory 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19.

“I felt that both sides were really working hard,” said Cannon Falls head coach Melissa Huseth. “We knew that Goodhue was going to be a spectacular team, they’re chock-full of seniors and they’ve gotten votes to be ranked in the state. We knew it was going to be a great match, and the girls wanted it badly.”

After a first set that saw four ties, and several hitting errors from both teams, the two coaches settled their girls down and deployed similar attack strategies in the second set. Goodhue was able to get into its offense using quick, short sets and a lot of motion at the net.

That change was also evident with the Bombers as both teams used setters and back-row players to vary their attacks.

But after the third set, the Wildcats seemed to run out of gas.

“During one of the timeouts, I said that it seemed like we already lost, it was such a somber feeling in the gym,” said Goodhue head coach Lindsey Mace said. “They weren’t their amped-up selves like they were earlier in the game. I don’t know if they were tired and we need to do more conditioning or what. But, it definitely wasn’t the same team in Game 4.”

The fast, fluid attack that relied on precision passing from Mikayla Tipcke (37 set assists), and vicious kills from Meredith Watson (13) and Mikayla Miller (15), suddenly had trouble getting set up. And when they did, the Bombers were ready.

“I really felt that our defense played with heart,” Huseth said. “Sometimes we didn’t dig it to our setter, but we were also able to use our back-row attacks and off-speed shots, and put some tempo on the ball.”

Libero Becca Vandenheuvel set the tone with 36 digs. Hailey Huseth (15) and Sami Cromer (18) also had great defensive games, enabling the offense to set up for its own attacks. Huseth dished out 16 set assists while Lydia Franken added 15 assists of her own.

But it was where those helpers ended up that was key. Katie Noble had seven kills, and Carly Broze had six. Numerous others were spread throughout the lineup. Franken had a couple with nifty fake sets that found gaps while Noble helped out with four ace blocks.

“I told the girls that we had to start strong (in the fourth set) because we had two sets on them,” Huseth said. “But we had to come in and play aggressively. We were on their home court, and we knew they wanted this match. But we got our passes up to our setter, and our setters were really moving the ball around. It was difficult for them to play defense on our hitters.”

The Bombers (11-6-2 overall, 6-1 Hiawatha Valley League) will now face possibly its toughest opponent of the season Thursday when they head to Stewartville to take on the second-ranked Tigers. The Wildcats (12-4-1, 4-2) will travel to Rochester Lourdes to face the Eagles.

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Kyle Stevens
Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at kstevens@republican-eagle.com, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
(651) 301-7879
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